ImpACT welcomes Finland’s ratification of Convention 108+

ImpACT welcomes Finland’s ratification of Convention 108+

As the world rapidly develops both socially and economically through advanced information technology, the need for states to adopt strong data-protection regulations has never been as critical. Thus, ImpACT international commends the announcement that Finland has strengthened protections against privacy breaches by ratifying an amendment to the Convention for the Protection of Individuals with Regards to Automatic Processing of Personal Data.

The convention is the first legally binding international consensus to protect individuals against abuses that occur as their personal data are collected and processed

This step makes Finland the 10th country to sign the modified Convention 108+, which was revised in 2018 to reflect the emerging danger of hacking and abuse of personal data. The modifications were driven by the fact that the technological environment has changed dramatically since the convention was first drafted in 1980.

The convention is the first legally binding international consensus to protect individuals against abuses that occur as their personal data are collected and processed. In fact, it could become one of the only instruments successfully applied worldwide.

Under the convention, states are empowered to impose restrictions on the flow of personal data. If a signatory government believes a recipient entity lacks adequate protections, it can prohibit transfer of its constituents’ personal data by both public and private parties.

ImpACT strongly encourages countries across the MENA region to follow Finland’s example by ratifying the modified convention and ensuring protection of their citizens’ private information against trans-border abuse. All national governments should sign Convention 108+ to assure the protections they offer reflect the modern state of technology.

States should follow Finland’s ratification of Convention 108+ and work together to create a world-wide commitment to fundamental rights and values, including the protection of personal privacy.

In a series of investigations of ISPs in the MENA region, ImpACT International has exposed extensive privacy violations. It evaluated data protection in three countries—Jordan, Tunisia, and UAE—and the findings reinforce the need to ratify and enforce the convention:

However, signing the modified convention 108+ is just one necessary step to ensure the protection of citizens’ privacy and freedom of expression. Respect for the rule of law, human rights and fundamental freedoms should be a top priority of all states across the globe.

ImpACT International for Human Rights Policies urges states to follow Finland’s ratification and work together to create a world-wide commitment to fundamental rights and values, including the protection of personal privacy.

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